158406460Each and every decade, new diets seem to take the world by storm, promising weight loss to those desperate to lose weight fast. Eating to lose weight is best achieved through a balanced, nutritious diet combined with an increase in physical exercise. Nonetheless, eager to achieve speedy weight loss, masses of people still gravitate toward fad diets. Since many diets are not realistic as a sustainable lifestyle, the weight loss for most people is temporary. Other diets leave those who are eating to lose weight feeling disappointed at a lack of results.

If you’ve been eating to lose weight for years and have been around the dieting block, you’ve likely heard of the grapefruit diet. How did it originate? Is it a fad diet with disappointing results or does it really help people trying to achieve weight loss reach their goals? We did a little investigating and here’s what we found:

The Grapefruit Diet Through the Ages

The Grapefruit Diet made its Hollywood debut in the 1930s. Stars with weight loss goals flocked to the diet craze and were soon followed by their adoring fans. Fittingly, the Grapefruit Diet was also commonly called the Hollywood Diet. The diet promised a staggering 10-pound weight loss achievement in merely 12 days.

To sum up the diet, the original Grapefruit Diet was largely just a high-protein, low-carb diet in which a grapefruit was incorporated and many fruits and vegetable dishes were cut out. High in vitamin C and fiber, grapefruits contain little calories and were thus idealized by anyone and everyone with a weight loss dream.

Making a comeback in the 70s, the Grapefruit Diet once again gained popularity amongst those with weight loss goals who were interested in eating to lose weight fast. Countless people turned to the diet because its proponents promised it would melt away fat – music to any overweight man or woman’s ears. Advertisers made the case that active proteins or “enzymes” contained in grapefruit were responsible for its stellar weight loss effects. Many nutritionists, however, called the diet a fad. They argued that grapefruit’s fat-burning reputation was rooted in myth and that the caloric intake in the Grapefruit Diet meals (typically no more than 800 calories a day) were “potentially dangerous.”

Somehow, this “little engine that could” diet appeared once again in the 80s under a different name. The diet, now referred to as the “10-day, 10-pounds off” appealed to those who were eating to lose weight. The diet required them to consume half of a grapefruit or drink grapefruit juice with each and every meal.

Today, grapefruit and grapefruit juice have been incorporated into an array of other weight loss programs. But if you’re eating for weight loss, should grapefruit be your weapon of choice?

The Modern Take on Grapefruit

The journal Nutrition and Metabolism recently published an experiment that investigated the impact of water, grapefruit juice, and whole grapefruit on food intake and weight loss. The study measured three groups of obese subjects for 12 weeks who consumed a “low, energy-dense preload” before every meal. The first group ate 1/2 a grapefruit before each meal; the second group consumed 5 oz. of grapefruit juice before each meal; and the third group drank 5 oz. of water before each meal.

All the subjects who consumed the foods lost between 12 to 15 pounds and trimmed their waistlines by 3cm to 6cm. Interestingly, their food intake also notably decreased even though the participants didn’t report feeling less hungry than usual.

Another attention grabbing result for weight loss goals is that the grapefruit and grapefruit juice groups showed notable increases in their good cholesterol levels, thus lowering their risk of heart disease. The study’s researchers contend that grapefruit contains unique plant compounds that reduce insulin levels, consequently promoting weight loss. All in all, the study showed that for those interested in eating to lose weight, a low-energy dense preload of foods like grapefruit will make you feel full, eat less, and generally help you reach your weight loss goals.

After nutritionists brushed the Grapefruit Diet off as a crazy fad two decades ago, many experts today are paying attention to the health advantages of grapefruit. A study conducted by scientists at the Nutrition and Medical Research Center in San Diego’s Scripps Clinic found that simply adding the fruit to your diet can aid in weight loss. It is important to note that the studies do not recommend grapefruit-only diets, nor do they recommend calorie- or nutritionally-deficient diets. You can still achieve weight loss results the healthy way while adding grapefruit and grapefruit juice to your diet. So, if you’re already on the path to a healthy lifestyle, keep going; don’t drop it all for the grapefruit. However, adding it into your diet certainly can’t hurt either.